Manufacturers get to work as factory orders riseA large jump in demand for automobiles, the biggest increase in demand in eight years, helped U.S. factory orders rise strongly in July 2011, The Associated Press reports. A surge in commercial airplane orders also kept American factories busy last month.

This increase in orders may indicate that supply chain disruptions after the Japan earthquake and tsunami could be coming to an end.

According to the AP, factory orders were up 2.4 percent. Orders for automobiles and parts rose 9.8 percent, which marks the largest one-month increase since January 2003. Outside of the transportation industry orders, factory business rose just 0.9 percent. However, that rate was the best performance since March 2011.

Since the recession came to an end, the economy has slowly started to turn around. Manufacturing had bucked the trend, leading the way in the recovery until the natural disasters in Japan in March 2011 slowed activity and higher energy prices made filling orders difficult.

According to Financial Times, automakers were hit especially hard by the supply chain disruption after the disasters in Japan. Plants producing parts for Toyota, Honda and Nissan were particularly affected.
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